Posts Categorized: Commentary

Support Responsibilities in an Age of Campus Suicide

In 2004, then-University of New England President Sandra Featherman authored a piece for NEJHE (then called Connection) headlined “Emotional Rescue” and focusing on how a new generation of troubled college students was putting a strain on campus resources. Featherman, who died in April, wrote of colleges and universities scrambling to provide additional and better support services for students...

Down in the Boiler Room

Something as mundane as a campus boiler system can help colleges meet climate goals and offer hands-on research at the intersection of environmental studies and engineering ... For many institutions in New England, the 2020 deadline to hit objectives for the Presidents' Climate Leadership Commitments that once seemed far away are now right around the corner. These ambitious plans were entered int...

Limited Characters Spell Austerity

Tweets, despite their limited characters, can offer some pretty telling narratives. In May 2017, we ran a piece titled Real Tweets, Fake News … and More from the NEJHE Beat, and then followed up in November with Chance of Tweetstorms. We noted that every NEJHE item automatically posts to Twitter, but that we also use Twitter to disseminate interesting news or opinion pieces from elsewhere. The...

A New Way to Rank Colleges: What Percentage of Students Vote?

The recent March for Our Lives at hundreds of locations around the globe rattled my cage, particularly as I stood in the middle of hundreds of thousands of protesters in Washington, DC. Had we finally found a way to increase activism, to get more and more people of all ages and stages involved in the well-being of their communities? As I listened to the young speakers both over the loudspea...

A Harvard Attorney Whose Job Is Advising Undocumented Students in the Age of Trump

As an immigration attorney for the past 14 years in both private practice and legal services, I feel confident in saying there is not a single kind of immigrant or one kind of immigration story. There are multifarious individuals and families of diverse global origin bearing a cornucopia of ideas, perspectives, hopes and dreams. This past year, I was given another vantage point to observe the mani...

Changing Public Perceptions of Higher Ed

American confidence in higher education began waning at just the time that more people began to see colleges as more concerned about their bottom lines than about education and making sure students have a good education experience, according to Public Agenda President Will Friedman. That was among observations that Friedman made to educators gathered in Boston on Monday at a NEBHE panel dis...

Back in the Shadows? The DACA Saga Continues

From 2012 to 2017, nearly 15,000 New England residents participated in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA students are ineligible for federal financial aid programs, but state and institutional aid can flow to undocumented students. As of March 2017, 20 states, including Connecticut and Rhode Island, offered in-state tuition rates to undocumented students. It’s a mo...

About Face: Helping Leaders Avoid Prejudgment

I can tell within the first few seconds of seeing a student in my class, from their face, their clothes, where they sit in class, what their final grade will be and sometimes I’m actually right. – College Professor: Initial impressions of the classroom. As a teacher and designer of leadership classes, I am often asked to speak at organizations around the world about topics dealing with busin...

Leadership in Higher Education Is Due for a Change: Co-Presidents (Really)

Harvard University recently appointed a new president, Larry Bacow. He’s a well-known, highly regarded leader, having spent the better part of his adult life in educational administration. He’s been president of Tufts and chancellor of MIT; he also served on the Corporation, Harvard’s governing board, prior to being considered a presidential candidate. And the announcements have been clear: ...

New Models at Lasell: Q&A with President Michael Alexander

NEJHE Executive Editor John O. Harney had the chance to catch up with Lasell College President Michael Alexander about the small Newton, Mass. college’s plans to challenge the higher education business model. Harney: NEJHE recently published a piece on how data on colleges in NEBHE's 2018 Guide to New England Colleges & Universities—namely their acceptance rates, percentage of freshmen...